A shor t stor y is a shor t work of fiction.
Fiction, as you know, is prose writing
about imagined events and characters.
Prose writing dif fers from poetr y in that
it does not depend on verses, meters or
rhymes for its organization and
A character is a person, or sometimes even
an animal, who takes part in the action of a
Protagonist - One character is clearly
central to the stor y with all major events
having some impor tance to this character
Antagonist - the opposer of the main
• The Characteristics of a Person – the
information the author gives the reader
about the characters themselves.
• his/her physical appearance
what he/she says, thinks, feels and dreams
what he/she does or does not do
what others say about him/her and how others
react to him/her
The setting of a shor t stor y is the time
and place in which it happens. Authors
of ten use descriptions of landscape,
scener y, buildings, seasons or weather
to provide a strong sense of setting.
place - geographical location. Where is the
action of the stor y taking place?
time - When is the stor y taking place?
(historical period, time of day, year, etc)
weather conditions - Is it rainy, sunny, stormy,
social conditions - What is the daily life of the
character's like? Does the stor y contain local
colour (writing that focuses on the speech,
dress, mannerisms, customs, etc. of a
par ticular place)?
mood or atmosphere - What feeling is created
at the beginning of the stor y? Is it bright and
cheer ful or dark and frightening?
A plot is a series of events and character actions
that relate to the central conflict
Introduction - The beginning of the stor y where the
characters and the setting is revealed.
Rising Action - This is where the events in the stor y
become complicated and the conflict in the stor y is
revealed (events between the introduction and climax).
Climax - This is the highest point of interest and the
turning point of the stor y. The reader wonders what
will happen next; will the conflict be resolved or not?
Falling action - The events and complications begin to
resolve themselves. The reader knows what has
happened next and if the conflict was resolved or not
(events between climax and denouement).
Final Action or Denouement - This is the final outcome
or the explanation at the end of the stor y.
Conflict is a struggle between two
people or things in a shor t stor y. The
main character is usually on one side of
the central conflict.
On the other side, the main character
may struggle against another impor tant
character, against the forces of nature,
against society, or even against
something inside himself or herself
(feelings, emotions, illness).
1) Man vs. Man (physical) - The leading character
struggles with his physical strength against other
men, forces of nature, or animals.
2) Man vs. Circumstances (classical) - The leading
character struggles against fate, or the
circumstances of life facing him/her.
3) Man vs. Society (social) - The leading character
struggles against ideas, practices, or customs of
4) Man vs. Himself/Herself (psychological) - The
leading character struggles with himself/herself;
with his/her own soul, ideas of right or wrong,
physical limitations, choices, etc.
the central idea or belief in a shor t
the main idea that the author is tr ying
to tell the reader.
the author's thoughts about a topic or
view of human nature.